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Gatsugi: A Walk along the Sea of ​​Japan, Niigata

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Sponsored by Murakami city

Gatsugi is a very small town located in the prefecture of Niigata, which overlooks the Sea of ​​Japan. The scenery in the area is beautiful and still reminicsent of a time before skyscrapers and subways, wild in all the best ways.

The Beautiful Coastline of Japan Overlooking the Sea of ​​Japan

Easily accessible from Murakami, the nearest main town, a stroll along the Sea of ​​Japan in Gatsugi is the perfect getaway to the Japanese countryside, a trip to the pristine coastline.

What to See in Gatsugi?

Everywhere is accessible by foot and you can find all of the main tourist destinations within easy reach of the main town.

Goishi Beach

Located just a few minutes walk from Gatsugi station, Goishi beach is incredibly beautiful. Enjoy marveling at the gigantic rocks stretching out of the sea, one of the many features which lend to the wildness of the area. On one of the rocks you can see torii, the sacred doors of the Shinto religion. In the distance, on the horizon, you can see a nearby island: Awahimaura, surrounded by The Sea of Japan.

Goishi Beach Rocks

Ocean Views at Goishi Beach

The Tide Rolls in at Goishi Beach

Gatsugi Niigata Beaches and Rocks

Gatsugi, Niigata Beach

Hakogata Hachimangu Shaso

The Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine, a 15-minute walk from the beach, is located on the top of Mt.Hakogata. Mt Hakogata is a rocky mountain, originally formed by a volcanic eruption and surrounded by pristine forest. Shaso means, “the grove of the sanctuary of the village” the trees surround the sanctuary. Hakogata Hachimangu Shaso was designated as a Natural Monument of Japan. Hachimangu is built on a mountain 80 meters high. It is a spiritual place known as “The Mountain of God” 神の山. If you are interested in finding the entrance, you can find it very close to the train station, just take the underpass under the main road. On your way back down, make sure to walk along the rocks a bit further to admire the beautiful landscape.

Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine in Gatsugi
The temple is located at the top of the rocky mountain!
Access to the Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine
Access to the Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine
The Torii Gate of Hakogata Hachimangu Shaso
The torii gate of Hakogata Hachimangu Shaso
The access map for Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine
The access map for Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine
The steep stairs to reach to the top of the mountain to Hakogata Hachimangu in Gatsugi
The steep stairs to reach to the top of the mountain

Mountain Trail to Hakogata Hachimangu in Gatsugi

Gatsugi, Niigata Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine

Torii Gates at Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine

Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine Building

Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine in Gatsugi

Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine in Gatsugi Lion Statues

Hakogata Hachimangu Shrine in Gatsugi Lion Statues Guarding the Entrance

The Old Town Street of Neya

If you have a chance, do not miss taking a stroll through the old streets of the city to see the beautiful dark wooden houses that are located all along the streets.

Neya Old Town in Gatsugi

Flowers in Neya Old Town, Gatsugi

Alleyways and streets in Neya Old Town, Gatsugi

Bridge in Neya Old Town, Gatsugi

Neya Fishing Port

Neya Fishing Port is one of the best known ports in the prefecture of Niigata. During salmon fishing season in the winter, this port is very attractive and lively.

Neya Fishing Port in Gatsugi

Neya Fishing Boats in Gatsugi

Neya Fishing Boat in Gatsugi

Fishing Boats Docked in Neya Old Town, Gatsugi

Boat Dock in Neya Old Town, Gatsugi

How to Get to Gatsugi?

From Tokyo, it is easy to get to Murakami. It takes 3 hours by train (change trains at Niigata station). For more details, please check out this article. From Murakami Station, take the JR train (valid with your JR pass) via  JR Uetsu Line bound for Sakata酒田. The train takes only 40 minutes to get to Gatsugi. Take the seat on the left side to admire the beautiful coastline of the Sea of Japan!

Gatsugi View

Gatsugi Niigata View

Gatsugi, Niigata Sea View

Gatsugi Ocean View

Gatsugi Station

Upon your arrival, enjoy a walk through the peaceful town of Gatsugi.

Gatsugi Station

Gatsugi Station Train Tracks

Original article by : Estelle

Translated by: Aika Ikeda